“HEART and soul cooking”, “every dish is different”, and (my favourite), “feeding people from our soul to nourish theirs”. Now, these might sound like ad slogans – and I was a little suspicious at first, however after dining at this restaurant, I can assure you, every word is true!

We went and tried Indian restaurant Mint and Mustard's range of dishes for the festive season, and we were blown away.

Every time someone says to me Indian, I go Korma – with rice and a lager. That’s Indian for me... But as I get older and a tiny bit wiser, I’ve come to realise how ignorant I’ve been in the face of one of the world’s greatest cuisines.

Dining at the Mint and Mustard, I was given a lesson in what fine Indian cuisine should taste like – and there was no Korma in sight! (there was still lager…)

The first thing about Mint and Mustard before you’ve even touched the food, is the service. Manager Ram Sapkota and staff are extremely polite and seem to really value the custom.  

Then it came to the food.

For starters we had Keralan crab – crab meat encased in crisp batter displayed in the shape of a crab; Keralan beetroot tikki – beetroot and spiced potato coated in breadcrumbs with melted cheese running through it (incredible!); but the show stopper was the Bombaay chaat – flour doughballs with fillings. 

You pick the chaat with your fingers and eat in one. What I didn’t expect when I did this, was the explosion of yoghurt that went off in my mouth – it was surprising and exhilaratingly refreshing.

South Wales Guardian: Keralan beetroot tikkiKeralan beetroot tikki (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: The incredible chaatsThe incredible chaats (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: Keralan crab - crab meat in light crisp batterKeralan crab - crab meat in light crisp batter (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: Melted cheese running through the tikkisMelted cheese running through the tikkis (Image: Newsquest)

For mains, we had Murg e Awadh – breast of chicken in creamy pepper and spice marinade finished in a hot, smokey tandoor. The chicken was juicy and tender, and, having come out of the tandoor, had a hint of barbeque smokiness.

It was my favourite, but respect had to be given to the Calicut beef curry: slow-cooked beef, with roasted spices, earthy coriander, chillies and a hint of coconut. This curry was dark and rich, not oily or fatty, and it was warming – perfect for winter.

South Wales Guardian: Murg e Awadh. Juicy chicken (personal favourite)Murg e Awadh. Juicy chicken (personal favourite) (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: Respect this curry! Calicut beef curryRespect this curry! Calicut beef curry (Image: Newsquest)

Accompanying the mains was pilau rice with saffron, fig and coriander naan (superb) and another lager… And there was pudding! which included chocomosa's - chocolate samosas (OMG!) and a stunning rose creme brulee.

South Wales Guardian: Fig and coriander naanFig and coriander naan (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: Chocomosas - chocolate samosas!Chocomosas - chocolate samosas! (Image: Newsquest)

Going back to those “ad slogans”, allow me to put in a few more, “authentic”, “the real deal” and Mr Sakopta and chef Gopal Dutt “know what they’re talking about”.

South Wales Guardian: The team at Mint and Mustard with Mr Sakopta second rightThe team at Mint and Mustard with Mr Sakopta second right (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Guardian: Manager Ram Sapkota, Chef Gopal Dutt and Mckenzie James assistant managerManager Ram Sapkota, Chef Gopal Dutt and Mckenzie James assistant manager (Image: Supplied)

Mint and Mustard is not your everyday Indian. if you want a dining-out treat over the festive period, book here.

And if you want a whole different experience for the Christmas party, Mint and Mustard is happy to serve. Contact the restaurant now to arrange.

Verdict: This Christmas, turkey’s off the table and Murg e Awadh is on it!

Mint and Mustard is in Penarth on Windsor Terrace next to the clockface roundabout.

Contact 029 2070 0500 to book today, or visit mintandmustard.net.